“We know a lot about bars”: Why Midland’s “Drinkin’ Problem” is the real deal

Big Machine

With their debut single firmly seated in country’s top-20, the new trio Midland is off to the kind of start that makes you think they may be around for a while.

Lead singer — and former Calvin Klein model — Mark Wystrach attributes some of the success of “Drinkin’ Problem” to something legendary songwriter Dean Dillon once told the band.

“He said, ‘Boys, write what you know.’ And we know a lot about bars,” Mark says, half-joking. “I grew up in a bar. My family owns a live country music honky tonk…”

“I think it’s the kind of song you can listen to on a Friday night when you’re getting ready to go out with your friends, and on Monday evening when you’ve got the blues,” he says of “Drinkin’ Problem.”

Mark believes the authenticity in the writing carried through to the studio.

“It’s not a put-on,” he asserts. “When we performed it and recorded it, it was cut with feeling and emotion, and I think that’s what people are responding to. For us, we grew up on music that made you feel something. When Merle Haggard sang ‘Misery and Gin,’ you said ‘Holy cow!’ And you don’t forget that song, ever! That’s a part of your life from that point on,” he reflects.

“Drinkin’ Problem” is one of five songs on Midland’s self-titled debut EP, which was released in October.

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